When Cane and Juliet first learned their baby might have cystic fibrosis on The Young and the Restless (YR), our first thought was to not let this be nothing but a small plot device to bring adulterer Cane and the woman he got pregnant during a one-night stand closer together.
But, alas, that was all it was. Today, Juliet (Laur Allen) and Cane (Daniel Goddard) learned their little boy is just fine and Y&R missed an opportunity to tell an important story about living with cystic fibrosis.
Less than a generation ago, learning your unborn child might have CF would be like staring at a death sentence, as many with the disease lived shortened lives. We can understand if Y&R didn’t want to tell another child death story, but with medical advances, they didn’t have to do that.
Today, children with CF live full lives as kids and, with the right treatment, they go on to live long, full lives as adults.
That doesn’t mean life is perfect. Cystic fibrosis is a very serious disease, and this writer’s 10-year-old son was diagnosed with it at age two, and is one happy little boy who understands that CF is just a part of his life and does not define it.
If Cane and Juliet raise this child together as a couple, or if they end up co-parenting if he reconciles with Lily (Christel Khalil), we still could have seen the disease incorporated into his life as he grew on screen.
He could have done all the things soap kids do–even age rapidly when the plot called for it–but also mention he needs to take time to do his chest vest and breathing treatments.
We would have understood CF as a part of his existence while Y&R educated the audience and still had a viable character who didn’t need to die as a child, as so many children in GC do.
Instead, the little medical scare now seems hollow, and something that many people take seriously and deal with each day seems like nothing but a ploy to move an unpopular story along.
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